Tag Archives: lint slough

Knee Deep

When the Alsea River is running fast and high the ducks rest in field puddles.

field puddle with ducks
Field Puddle

In addition to mallards we’ve seen mergansers and scaups.  It’s not a very deep puddle. They are probably walking instead of paddling.

We’ve wondered if the diving ducks get their pointy bill stuck in the ground when they dive.  🙂

mallards in field puddles
Mallards

These heron are usually on dry ground in Lint Slough, in Waldport, Oregon.  But with some good rains and high tides last week they were wading in the water.

Herons on Lint Slough
Herons on Lint Slough

Some found a dry patch.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Their colors seem more vibrant than usual.  Maybe it’s their breeding plumage?

Great Blue Heron - Lint Slough
Heron showing his colors

One of my favorite workamping benefits is observing the local wildlife.

 

The Ebb and Flow of Alsea Wildlife

As the wildlife young are growing up, we are seeing more of them along our part of the Alsea River (about 12 miles east of Waldport).

Osprey - adult
Osprey – adult

We must not have an Osprey nest close by because we haven’t seen one here since the chicks hatched in the Waldport High School nest.  I’ve heard there is also a nest at Eckman Lake?  If you’ve spent time near an osprey nest their call is forever imprinted on your mind; as was mine after the summer we spent workamping in Sam Owen Campground near Sandpoint, Idaho.  I thought I’d never miss their calls again.  The young are relentless in their loud, high-pitched, begging for food.  They are either begging or sleeping and seemed to be no in between.  But I was excited to hear this one last week.  Oddly enough, the otter alarm call sounds so much like an osprey to me; only it is a single chirp instead of three.

Mom with Otter Kits on Alsea River
Mom with Otter Kits

I’m convinced that we are seeing several families of otters now and I can only tell them apart by how many are in the group (if they get out of the river long enough for me to count).

Great White Egret on Lint Slough
Great White Egret on Lint Slough

The Great White Egrets are showing up on Lint Sough, on the east end of Waldport.  Their stark white body really stands out against the forest greenery.

Kayaking Lint Sough
Kayaking Lint Sough

Did you know there used to be a fish hatchery up Lint Slough?  Word has it (from a local old-timer) that their return rate was over 90%!  The slough winds way back into the forested canyon.  If you don’t have your own kayak, you can rent one or get a guided tour in the summer through Labor Day at the Kayak Shack on the Port of Alsea.

5 Elk Calves
5 Elk Calves

Back up the river, most of the elk calves have lost their spots.  Maybe that’s what they are looking for?  No, I don’t have them.  Ask your mother.

With their ears leaning forward and that furry neck, they almost look like a lama to me.  The elk, like all of the wildlife, come and go from day to day.  We don’t see them for a few days or weeks, then we see them everyday for a week at certain times of the day.  I’m sure they have a route they travel but I don’t think they are on a schedule.  Tides and hungry cougars will alter their route I’m sure.

Wildlife tracks on the Alsea River
What kind of tracks are these?

Speaking of hungry cougars…what kind of tracks do you think these are?  I really don’t know.  If I’d been smart, I would have checked our side of the river when I saw these.  I’ll do that the next time I see something I can’t identify from a distance; in case they crossed the river.

Green Heron at Low Tide on Alsea River
Green Heron at Low Tide on Alsea River

We saw 2 Green Heron land under the willows at the same time last evening.

It’s funny how, once you see and identify a bird or other wildlife, you seem to see them all the time.  Or, maybe, it’s that ebb and flow thing again?  Like the tides, the wildlife comes in and it goes out.

Bird Watching on Lint Slough – Waldport, Oregon

There are always some kind of birds on Lint Slough; on Hwy 34 as you enter Waldport from the west.

Mallards Preening
Mallards Preening

The mallards are preening and might be looking for a nesting site for the spring?

Mallards and Great Blue Heron
Mallards (foreground) and Great Blue Heron (background)

Apparently there was a Great Blue Heron rally on this day.   I didn’t get the memo.   I guess because I don’t get the Great Blue Heron newsletter?

Great Blue Heron Rally - Waldport, Oregon
Great Blue Heron Rally

We counted about 18 heron!  My ODFW-buddy says they nest in trees though.  So maybe they are just preening and resting here after lunch?

Great Blue Heron - Waldport, Oregon
Great Blue Heron

Maybe Lint Slough is Waldport’s all-you-can-eat buffet for birds?